Monday, 30 September 2013

Newb Noob Nub

Words like newb, newbie, noob and nub get tossed around a lot, often as insults but what do they really mean? Or do they all just mean the same thing?

To many they do mean the same thing but I've always looked at it like this:

A "newb" or "newbie" is someone new to the game who hasn't been playing for very long. He does silly things and makes mistakes because he hasn't been playing long enough to know any better yet. More experienced players might laugh at his antics but he's probably capable of learning and becoming a better player. Newbs are usually quite happy to take advice (solicited or not) from more experienced players.

"How come my movement keys don't work?" - Newb

A "noob" is someone who's been playing long enough he should know better but still plays like a newb. He's been playing too long to be considered a newb anymore but plays very casually. He might be capable of learning but he really doesn't care what others think. As long he's still having fun that's all that matters to him. Noobs are content to keep on doing things their own way, could care less about learning to do things differently and don't want advice. They may not take unsolicited advice very well.

"Don't try to tell me how to play! I'll play the way I like!" - Noob

A "Nub" is someone who's been playing for a long time, plays a lot and thinks all that play time makes him an expert on everything but he's really just a clueless idiot. Nubs love telling everyone how special they are, they'll argue about the stupidest things trying to prove it, offer unsolicited bad advice to everyone and wonder why nobody listens to them or appreciates their genius.

"I've been playing for 10 years! I know 100x more than you! I've forgotten more than you'll ever know so just STFU and listen to me! You stupid newbie!" - Nub

This started out as a comment I made over at A Noob's Tale in Eve that I thought was worth expanding upon and turning into a post here.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sisters of Eve - Trading Update

Just 2 days after I posted about Trading Sisters of Eve Launchers the market for them in The Forge (the region Jita and Osmon are in) looks like this:

I'm not sure how much of a coincidence it is this happened shortly after my post but it's a significant departure from how this market usually looks.

The interesting part is sell prices on Jita are actually over 2 million lower than buy prices on Osmon. Normally for the past year and more I've been buying and selling them it's been exactly the opposite.

It'll be interesting to see how long this lasts and it'll be even more interesting to see what happens after the forthcoming new Sisters of Eve ships are out.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Cargo Rigs and Mods - Why I don't use them

I've never been a fan of cargo rigs and mods. I'd rather carry less but be faster and harder to gank than carry more but be slower and easier to gank.

Similar to max mining yield fits, sure you can increase mining yield or cargo capacity but only at the cost of less tank, lower speed and higher alignment time than you could have with another fit. Since cargo ships (and mining ships) are primary gank targets I've always felt making my ships harder to gank is more important than increasing cargo capacity (or mining yield).

Cargo expander mods reduce speed and structure hitpoints, cargo rigs reduce armor amount. All of which reduces your survivability. In addition for every cargo mod or rig you fit that's one less mod or rig you can fit to increase tank or improve speed and/or alignment time.

Nanofibers in the lows increase speed and lower alignment time. You can also fit a Damage Control in one of the lows (DCs don't stack so 1 is all you need) for better tank too. And of course if your ship is armor tanked the lows are where your tank mods go too.

Polycarbons in the rig slots also increase speed and lower alignment time, Field Extenders increase shield tank and Trimarks increase armor tank.

Fitting for higher speed and lower alignment time rather than cargo space means gankers have less time to target, lock and kill my ship. Fitting heavier tank means when they do manage to target, lock and fire upon me, it takes more damage to kill me, which in turn means it takes longer to kill me and I have more time to escape.

I prefer Minmatar ships for transport because they're fast and agile shield tanked ships. Shield tank mostly uses mid slots leaving the lows open for mods to further improve speed and agility.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Sisters of Eve - A specific and lucrative trading example

Everyone says traders don't talk about what they're currently selling, what their best / most profitable items are, and the like. Myself I've never really been against going into details about exactly what I do but then again I don't want to give away all my secrets (or my most profitable items) either.

Today I'm going to talk about a couple of my long term best selling, fastest moving, most profitable items. There are 3 items I generally check on and post/update orders for most days (even on many days when I do nothing else). These are two of those items.

Sisters of Eve faction sells 2 particular LP items that have been among my 3 best items for a long time.

Sisters Core Probe Launcher
Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher

Expanded are more popular and move in roughly twice the volume of Core.

I've been making 2-3 billion in profits off just these 2 items every month for about a year now (I've been playing for a little more than 1.5 years). That's just counting the ones purchased from Jita. I'm really not at all certain just how many I buy per month in other regions or how much I make on them (other than to say the average profit per launcher is higher than on launchers purchased from Jita) so I didn't count them.

On Jita both generally go for 35-37 million in buy orders and 37-40 million in sell orders. There are times when prices go a little higher or a little lower for a while but prices are generally pretty stable and those are the ranges they're usually in.

Osmon, the main mission hub for Sisters of Eve mission runners, is 6 jumps from Jita and in the same region (The Forge). Both launchers can usually be bought for 1-2 million less on Osmon than on Jita.

Watch out for the scammer who likes to post margin scam buy orders on Jita for 50 of each Sisters launcher at around 40 million each with a minimum of 50 (obvious margin scam). I've seen other buyers overcut his order but since they're almost always Jita station orders it really doesn't affect me.

I like to use 10 jump buy orders on Jita priced just a little over the highest buy order on or in range of Osmon. I buy 5-10 a day Core and 10-20 a day Expanded from Jita orders alone. Over 90% of those orders get filled on Osmon.

I did try buying and selling 20-40 a day of each for a month or so but that didn't work out any better. All that happened was the competition got fiercer. It took more time and effort to buy them and margins were smaller so the overall profit was about the same (probably even a bit worse) in the end. I actually increased profits by buying fewer but moving more of them for sale off Jita.

I can pretty much count on making an average of at least 3 million profit per launcher if I just resell them on Jita. If I resell them elsewhere profit per item is close to double that.

Often prices on the other main hubs are fairly close to Jita prices (within a couple million) but sometimes they'll spike higher for a while. Prices on the other main hubs don't usually stay high for long though. They usually move pretty well in the 40 - 42 million range and sometimes closer to 45 mil for a while. Occasionally they'll go for 45-50 mil for a day or so and very rarely for a few days. Anything over 50 mil on the main hubs will pretty much be insta-cut by camping no-lifers and bots.

On smaller hubs (not the 5 main hubs) sell prices are rarely under 40 million and often closer to or over 50 million. As long as there isn't too much competition I can send stacks of 10 off to many of the smaller hubs and expect to sell them within a week or two (sometimes much faster than that) for 45-55 million each. When small hub prices get down around 40 million each someone usually buys them all out within a few days. In fact if they go much lower than 40 mil there's a very good chance that someone will be me! When small hub prices are at 50+ mil other traders start shipping big stacks in and competition can get fierce so it's often better to sell for less than that.

Traders with lower budgets could work Sisters Core Scanner Probe and Sisters Combat Scanner Probes instead. That market behaves in pretty much the same way though probe prices are much lower and sales volumes higher.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Mailbag - Q&A Part 1

Mail Received

From: Tubrav Sadarts
Sent: 2013.09.21 00:45
To: Moxnix Induli,

I realise this is a completely random mail, but I found your blog discussing your trading and was wondering if you could offer some advice. I'm a Jita station trader and I'm getting absolutely sick of checking 150+ market orders twice a day to see them all needing modification. I also have about 8bill in market orders in Jita at any one time but my hangar rarely has more than 2/300mill of stuff when I come to check it half a day after updating my orders.

Then I read your blog and see something like, where you get probably more skillbooks in value than I do over my whole order list in one day... in Jita, no less, so I wonder how.

Also, I tried my hand at some regional buy orders (in Lonetrek and Domain), but at least for Lonetrek most of them keep getting over-bid within a short time, which isn't helpful...and they hardly get filled either; is this what you find, or do you get many more orders filled somehow? I was also wondering if it's possible to do what you do but without an army of alts, since I don't have the RL or in-game cash to maintain 5/6 other accounts...

Sorry for the rambling-ness, I just have a lot of questions...

My Response

The real trick is to not get greedy. Pay better than the no-lifers and bots like paying and sell for less than they like selling for. Don't try to make a killing on every sale (you'll just get undercut in seconds), instead go for reasonable profits at fair prices.

Cut just once or twice a day using large cuts around 10% of the difference between buy and sell orders and do that for BOTH buy and sell orders. The idea being to reduce margins until your items start selling in a reasonable amount of time. It's important to raise the buy price too so the bots can't just keep buying more below your sell price and continue undercutting your sell orders by 0.01 ISK forever.

When the margin on something gets around 2% then just let your orders sit there without updating. Let the bots and no-lifers continue cutting at those low margins and tying up all their ISK on low profit transactions. They can't keep buying it all forever at those kind of margins. Sooner or later they will run out of ISK and then you're in again.

If you have plenty of ISK identifiying a few high volume items that you can buy and resell daily at 2-5% profit without too much trouble can help a lot too.

Regional buy orders are a different kettle of fish, often you're better off just going with lower range orders, I use 1, 2, 5 and 10 jump buy orders a lot. The higher the value and/or profit of an item the longer range I'm liable to use. Again pay a little more than the other guys, that way you get all the close ones and they have to travel 10+ jumps for the cheaper ones they get... Or you can work it the opposite if you're just getting started and don't mind some long trips.

Notes and additional clarifications

- I did some minor editing to my response before posting on the blog. In particular I changed a couple words and added three sentences to make things more clear.

- Tubrav sent me another mail since then asking for further clarification on several points. I'll cover that another day in Part II.

- I should also mention while my "one day" post was about a single day's worth of business on a single character, it was one of the better days. Not every day is that good (some days are terrible in fact) but it doesn't take many days like that to make for a good month.

- Raising buy prices by large amounts works particularly well when you're buying in lower volume than the competition. You can buy 1 or 2 at a slightly too high price and resell them at a profit a lot more easily than that douchebag trying to dominate the market by updating his buy order for 200 every 5 minutes can. If he keeps on cutting anyhow, chances are good he's going to get flooded with overpriced stock he can't move quickly without taking a loss.

Friday, 20 September 2013

A Noobs Tale

I ran across a new blog today that I found interesting.

It's a brand new blog that just started up this month but looks to have potential. From what the author says he's new to blogging (this is his first blog) but he already has 10 posts up. That's very good for a new blogger and it's refreshing getting the viewpoint of a player who's still new enough to the game he's constantly discovering things and still excited about it.

I figured I'd give him a plug here to see if we can't increase his traffic a bit and encourage him to keep up the good work.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Market Blogs - State of the Blogosphere

"To my knowledge, there isn't a blog out there written by a market guy." - Jester

Jester made that comment a while back and wound up generating a fair bit of discussion across several blogs. There definitely are market blogs out there though there aren't a whole lot and many of them are either inactive or not very active.

This post is intended to highlight the market blogs that are active now.

As far as I'm concerned including my own blog there are 4 main trade / market blogs for Eve Online. There are others but the rest are either too new, too small, inactive or not active enough to be good sources of current information for market players. Most of those other blogs can be found on the sidebar of this blog.

The 4 Main Market Blogs

Merchant Monarchy - Author MoxNix (me)

I tend to write mostly about playing the market and related activities though I do write on other topics occasionally. I'm not as prolific as some, generally producing 8-12 posts a month though there are times I'll crank out a post a day for a week or two and wind up with 20 posts for the month.

Greedy Goblin - Author Gevlon Goblin

Quite prolific (generally produces a post a day, sometimes 2), Gevlon is a long time blogger with a large following of readers from other games. Gevlon writes about a lot of different things but his recognized area of expertise is in playing the market. His market theory is sound and his market related posts are good though much of the rest is controversial to say the least.

MarketsforISK - Author Croda

Croda writes pretty much exclusively about playing the market (so far anyhow) and produces 10-12 articles per month. His is the newest blog of the bunch though he has prior experience blogging about making gold in another game.

Low Sec Lifestyle - Author Sugar Kyle

Far from being just a market blogger, Sugar is a very prolific blogger who writes about many different things, far more than just trading. Though trade is not her main focus, she writes market related articles often enough and the articles are good enough to be considered one of the more important market blogs.

Other Blogs

There are a number of older market blogs that have either been inactive for a long time or only post new articles very infrequently but still have some good information and advice in old articles. Most of the industry blogs also touch on playing the market from time to time and many of them have older but still relevant guides and articles about market trading too. Most of these blogs (both industry and market blogs) can be found on the sidebar of this blog.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Prowler Fleet - Coming to a Trade Hub near you soon!

Ever since I got my first Blockade Runner (a Prowler) I've loved Blockade Runners.

Subsequently I've been building up a fleet of Prowlers to cover most of my transport requirements throughout empire space. I'll still use courier contracts for large shipments between the main hubs and for spot work in some of the more dangerous systems but I'm working towards doing all routine pickups, short runs and time sensitive deliveries with Blockade Runners.

Training Blockade Runners and the support skills necessary to fly them well is now my number 2 training priority (after Trade skills) on all my traders. Since getting my first Blockade Runner pilot I've been working on training up more, particularly for traders on the busier hubs and in the largest regions.

Blockade Runners do cost roughly 5 times as much as Covert Ops frigates (~100 mil vs ~20 mil) and 50 times as much as the expendable Vigils (~2 mil) all my traders start out with. Blockade Runners aren't quite as fast (close enough though) and they don't align quite as quickly either (again close enough) but they do have a few significant advantages more than offsetting those minor disadvantages. They have about 10 times the tank (10-15k depending on exact fit and skills), 20 times the cargo capacity (just over 4k m3) and can't be cargo scanned. You can carry a lot more cargo and not only is it more difficult to kill your ship but the killer won't even know if you were carrying anything worthwhile until after he has killed it.

You don't need to get your Transport Ships skill up very high either. The useful bonuses, cargo capacity and velocity, come from your racial industrial skill which is going to be at V anyhow because that's a prerequisite to fly the ship in the first place. Transport Ships bonuses are pretty useless considering almost nobody fits shield boosters on blockade runners (AFAIC doing so is stupid) and you only need Transports Ships III to have enough CPU for a proper fit with covert cloak and all. But you will need IV if you want to fit a covert cyno too and that might be handy for fleet operations with black ops.

My own personal favorite Blockade Runner is the Minmatar Prowler though the Caldari Crane is about as good. The Prowler is a little faster, the Crane a little tankier and alignment times are about the same (both under 4 seconds). That's all with identical fits and nearly identical skills too (the only difference being which racial industrial skill is required) so based on stats and performance the choice was pretty much a wash for me.

I've always felt one of the silliest things you can do is choose your ship based on how it looks but for the first time ever my choice came down to which ship looks better (in my defense it only came down to looks because everything else was equal). The Crane truly is an ugly duckling (as all Badger based hulls are) so Prowler it is.

Right now I have 3 Prowler pilots with 2 more coming in 6 days, a 6th in 2 or 3 weeks (2 if I activate dual training, 3 if I don't) and I could have as many as 6 more in a month or so. Next week I'll have all of the main trade hubs covered by Prowlers and it won't be very long before Prowler Fleet is covering most of the larger and/or busier regions too.

My old fleet of Vigils is becoming obsolete, it's all about Prowler Fleet now!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Blunder - CN Mindlink

Finally one of my buy orders for the new navy mindlinks got filled. It's about time! Unfortunately for the seller he messed up and sold it for a tiny fraction of what it's worth.

The funny part is my buy order was for 150 million. CCP not only won't fix their retarded order filling logic, they won't even acknowledge it's a problem. Pretty sad when you consider it wouldn't take more than a few minutes for a competent semi-competent coder to fix.

Using pseudo code what we have now (for both buy and sell orders) is functionally equivalent to:


When it should be something like this for sell orders:

if (price=enteredprice < hibuyorder) then price = hibuyorder;

And for buy orders it should be something like this:

if (price=enteredprice > losellorder) then price = losellorder;

Sure it might be slightly more complex than that depending on exactly how (and how well) the existing code was written but it can't be very much more complicated. Nothing that would take very long at all to fix even if it's buried deep in some of the worst spaghetti code ever written.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Ganking in Derelik

I see Gevlon is ganking in Gamis now. That makes me happy, my main competition in Derelik is based out of Gamis. Usually Derelik is a slow, sleepy region where you don't have to worry much about gankers. Hopefully he'll get a trade hauler or two on top of the miners.

For anyone thinking of helping Gevlon's little project I'd suggest ganking in Jarizza too. Might as well knock off the only other noticeable competition in the region while you're at it.

But stay away from Tanoo, there's absolutely nothing interesting going on there. And whatever you do don't harass any Vigils or Prowlers you happen to notice flying around the area.

Gamis is a mining center and Jarizza is a manufacturing center. While I'm not positive, I presume they're both mission hubs too. Tanoo is where I'm based out of, I choose it because it's a travel chokepoint on the route to both Rens (4 jumps away) and Devoid Region (one of the few hi sec regions I don't have a trader in).

All 3 are hi sec trade hubs, fairly central in the region and have clone and repair facilities. Jarizza has factories too.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Odyssey 1.1 has Landed - Mindlinks have crashed

Odyssey 1.1 is finally here. There are plenty of changes but I'm just going to focus on one change I've talked about before.

T2 warfare mindlinks (including mining mindlinks) have been added to the Concord LP store for 20,000 Concord LP and 20m isk. - patch notes


I've been predicting a mindlink price crash for some time now. It was inevitable with T2 warfare mindlinks becoming LP store items. They're expected to go for around 75 million after the patch. I expected Mining Foreman Mindlinks which were going for over 1 billion in the past to get hit particularly hard.

Mining Foreman Mindlinks finally dropped under a billion ISK on Jita a few days before the patch but were still well over 900 million just before downtime today. I'm surprised they hadn't dropped more than that already. I could understand if it was just sell orders holding high but buy orders were still right up there too. I guess some Eve market players aren't very sophisticated, they mustn't read patch notes or market blogs or for that matter do much more than play the 0.01 ISK game.

Oh well their loss, some of them stand to lose billions. The ones with buy orders up post patch at old pre patch levels. Hopefully most of them are botters and the botters lose their shirts over it, it'd serve them right!

Logging in today some 7 or 8 hours after downtime I see Mining Foreman Mindlinks going for 89 million in sell orders and under 50 million in buy orders (my 50 million buy orders for 10 have been filled). Other mindlinks are all in the 60-70 million range in sell orders and well under 50 million in buy orders. All my 40-50 million ISK buy orders for 5-10 of each of those have been filled too. And that's just on Jita I haven't checked orders in the other 17 regions I operate in yet.

I wish I had a few trillion spare ISK just sitting around... I'd be snapping up huge stacks of them as long as they're under 50 million.

Also don't forget the new Navy Mindlinks

New Navy Mindlinks with the 25% bonus to two different disciplines at once (matching racial command ship bonuses) have been added to the normal racial LP stores at 100,000 LP and 100m isk, as well as requiring you to provide one of each of the T2 mindlinks that it combines. - patch notes

Currently the new Navy Mindlinks are in the 250 to 500 million range on Jita. I expect them to wind up going for around 500 million but it's too early to say for sure about that yet.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Financial Report - August 2013

Financial report for the month of August 2013 (last month). Trade oriented since trading is how I make virtually all of my ISK.

I buy and sell skill-books, faction/deadspace/officer mods and implants with traders covering all 5 major trade hubs (Jita, Amarr, Dodixie,  Hek and Rens) plus secondary hubs in most other empire regions. I have 20 traders in total, 3 on Jita, one each for mods, implants and skillbooks, the rest covering 17 different regions.

I play fairly casually and update orders infrequently, often going several days between posting/updating orders. Some characters get updated more often than others and I update sell orders more consistently than buy orders.

Expenses were up again due to doing 9 character moves (100-200 million per move just for lost deposits on cancelled orders) plus having 8 accounts dual training. That's about 4 billion right there. I also lost a bit over 2 billion to a gank while moving one of the characters.

I dropped most of my inventory worth under 10 million in all locations except Jita and under 20 million in many locations. I completely redid my quickbar lists for Deadspace and Faction mods and made many, many changes to my regional order strategy (exactly what I buy or sell and how much of in different regions). The end result being I bought and sold many more expensive items, far fewer cheap items and spent a lot less time flying around picking it all up.

I did spend nearly twice as much time on market related activity this month, about 40 hours in total. However the extra time was all spent on moving characters around and getting them setup in new locations. A fair bit of time was spent on the quickbar reorganization and regional order strategy changes too. All things I won't be doing every day or every month. The time spent on my usual day to day routine was only about 15 hours.

In August I made 40 billion after expenses. Pretty decent considering all the changes made. For a few days I was actually worried I may have bitten off more than I could chew and stretched my finances a bit too far but it worked out fine in the end. September should be interesting as I finish settling in at the new locations, get used to and become faster at working the new regional order strategy.

Current net worth is 270 billion with about half in cash and market escrow. Most of the rest is in sell orders and recently acquired stock I haven't gotten around to posting for sale yet.  As I get bigger and spend less time updating individual orders I find myself carrying more and more of my net worth in sell orders. Very little is in assets I don't intend to sell soon, a few ships and some mods I keep in stock for my own use, maybe 4 billion in total.

That's my actual current total net worth, I don't pad the numbers by counting ISK I've earned but have since spent and no longer have. That'd be like calling myself a real life millionaire because I've earned over a million dollars during my life when the reality is I've never had anywhere near a million in total.